Bell & Ross's BR01 Cyber Skull Sapphire: UFO Of Watchmaking

THM Desk
10 Dec 2021 |
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Bell & Ross enjoys straying from its regular topics of aviation and the military occasionally. The watchmaker was one of the first to develop a skull watch in 2009. Since then, the BR01 Cyber Skull family has expanded to eleven members, all of which are in high demand among collectors.

The avant-garde Cyber Skull rebooted this classic series in 2020. Its faceted shape was a step forward in time. And it went off without a hitch. The latest BR01 Cyber Skull Sapphire is a full sapphire version that is entirely translucent. This technological substance propels this timepiece icon into the realm of transparency and richness.


But before we dive into the details of this rich timepiece let’s take a look at the many versions. 


Bell & Ross was one of the first watchmakers to produce a skull watch in 2009. In the company's signature "circular in a square" case, the BR01 Skull has a skull and crossbones. It was a huge hit right away.

Other versions then released by Bell & Ross: 

- In 2016, the Burning Skull added greater volume to the flame-engulfed skull. This gave the whole thing a three-dimensional look.

- In 2018, an automaton movement was added to the Laughing Skull. When winding the crown, the jaw moves, giving the impression that the skull is laughing. Spooky!

- There was a significant break in 2020! A stunning black ceramic case with truncated corners and a "pixelated" skull debuted with the new Cyber Skull. This watch's innovative design catapulted it into the realm of ultra-modernity. It had a lot of success.

- In 2021, the Cyber Skull Sapphire Only Watch 21 featured a sapphire crystal on the case. This one-of-a-kind model, with its orange-colored skull, was sold at the Only Watch charity auction. The hammer finally dropped at a price of 220,000 CHF, more than double the highest estimate. A resounding triumph!

- The most recent Cyber Skull Sapphire is the watch's "general public" edition. It faithfully reproduces the sapphire case. The faceted skull, however, is translucent in this rendition. It's a 10-item limited edition. For collectors, it's already a definite thing.

Bell & Ross Skull WatchVersions
Bell & Ross Skull Watch Versions


The new Cyber Skull Sapphire deviates from previous neo-vintage-style skull watches in terms of design. The case's sharp edges dance with light, and the many facets increase the number of viewpoints and reflections.

It gets its inspiration from a variety of places:

Avant-garde: it pays respect to the innovative realm of informatics and virtual reality. The pixelated, faceted style pays homage to the digital arts.

Origami: its angular design harkens back to the ancient Japanese technique of paper folding, but with a futuristic twist.

Military: the case is designed like the fuselage of an F117 stealth bomber from the United States. It can blend into radar screens thanks to its faceted form. The Cyber Skull Sapphire has everyone's attention.


In the world of watchmaking, the BR 01 Cyber Skull Sapphire is a UFO. The Cyber Skull serves as the foundation, yet it is made entirely of colourless sapphire crystal. It uses transparency, including the translucent rubber strap.

BR01 Cyber Skull Sapphire
The skull and crossbones are encased between two sapphire crystals and appear to float in mid-air.

The skull and crossbones are encased between two sapphire crystals and appear to float in mid-air. The sapphire starts out as a valuable slab of extremely hard glass. A material that is extremely tough to work with. Even the tiniest mistake means beginning anew.


The BR01 Cyber Skull Sapphire is a watch that combines style and craftsmanship. The BR-CAL.209 automaton movement is used in this high-end timepiece. This manual-wind skeleton calibre was created specifically for the watch and is nearly unnoticeable.

BR-CAL.209 automaton movement
BR-CAL.209 automaton movement

It has the shape of a skull. The skeleton form displays some of the more fascinating technical components, such as cogs, balancing, and so on. Before reaching below the crossbones, the plate and bridges follow the contour of the skull. The spring balance at "twelve o'clock" represents the brain, which is very much alive in this skull.

The BR01 Cyber Skull Sapphire reflects the story of a victorious conclusion as a symbol of a new generation. The narrative of a brand that puts meaning and purpose into every aspect.